Edinburgh councillors asked to refuse plans for ‘ribbon' hotel

10 August 2015 by
Edinburgh councillors asked to refuse plans for ‘ribbon' hotel

Councillors will be asked to reject plans for the ‘ribbon' hotel this week - proposed as part of the £850m Edinburgh regeneration project.

Planning officials fear the unusual design for the hotel in the St James Centre could "damage" the city's skyline.

They claim the hotel's proximity to listed buildings could harm Edinburgh's status as a World Heritage Site, as reported by the Edinburgh Evening News. A report will be presented to the planning committee on 12 August.

It recommends that the application for the approval of matters specified in the outline planning permission, relating to the design of the hotel, landscaping and external lighting, be refused.

Investment management company TH Real Estate said it was "disappointed" by the news.

The firm previously said the new hotel was expected to be the centrepiece of the wider St James Quarter development, which planning permission was granted for in July. It includes a 1970s shopping centre replaced with 750,000 sq ft of retail space, up to 250 new homes, 30 restaurants and a multi-screen cinema, with completion expected in 2020.

Designs for the 12-storey, 210 bedroom hotel project were released in March. They show a bulbous building wrapped in distinctive copper-coloured rings rising to a swirling flourish. Fears have also been raised that it could be "too shiny and reflective".

Architects Jestico + Whiles, the firm behind London's One Aldwych, said the hotel would include a rooftop bar with panoramic views. According to Edinburgh Evening News, planning officials say the hotel will be wider and 20 metres taller than initially proposed, and will block key views of the city.

He added: "We have already received interest from a number of leading international five-star hotel operators which have seen our designs and recognise the unique opportunity Edinburgh St James presents.

"We believe that Jestico + Whiles' elegant design fully responds to the original council brief to enhance the city's skyline and create something never seen in Edinburgh before - unparalleled 360 degree views of the city. We hope that the City of Edinburgh Council's planning committee recognise the potential of the site and look forward to explaining our vision."

Plans for new hotel in Edinburgh as part of £850m regeneration project >>

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